One of my guilty pleasures is a mid afternoon cuppa while I watch YouTube vlogs, hauls and generally other mum’s lives. I would say that if you don’t already do this, you are missing out but then I wouldn’t want to be responsible for sending you down that rabbit hole.
Recently I watched a grocery haul and couldn’t believe how much they were spending on a weekly shop. £120 from a well known supermarket seemed to buy them very little. With this in mind, I wondered whether I’d be able feed my family for under £50.
Generally, our weekly shop comes in around £70 so I hoped with a little squeezing, I’d be able to bring it down. Before I even start, I know there are a few ways we keep grocery costs down that might be useful to share.
Know what you’ve got in stock
Before you think about writing a shopping list, make sure you go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer. It’s more than likely you’ll have most, if not all you need to make at least one meal. That’s one less meal you’ve got to buy.
Check expiry dates
This can help you plan what needs to be eaten first. Not only does it cut down food waste, it also cuts down food costs as you’re not just throwing your money away.
Plan your meal
It may not be fun. It may not be spontaneous but it will save you money. If you really want to make a difference to your weekly outgoings, this is it. Just because you’ve planned meals, it doesn’t mean to have to eat them in a certain order (unless stuff is going to go out of date). You can still wait until the day to choose if that’s what you’d prefer.
We like to choose meals for the week as a family. This way, we all know what’s coming and the girls can feel they have some say. We also like to write up our meals on a chalkboard in the kitchen. When everyone knows what coming, there are no arguments.
Ditch the pre prepared
Ready chopped carrot batton may seem like a time saver but they are often really flavourless. Instead of premashed potatoes, try just cubing unpealed potatoes and boiling for 20min. A dollop of butter and they’re done with only 2 minutes prep time.
Use frozen veg
It’s just as good for you with all the same nutrients, cheaper and more convenient than fresh. We like to use a mixture but there’s nothing wrong with frozen veg.
Say goodbye to the brands
I wasn’t brought up on branded stuff and so I have no brand loyalty to certain beans or sauces. I know for some, this isn’t the case. What I will say is before you defend your favourite brand, test out at least three others. If you still feel it’s worth the extra cash then fine but you may just find you can’t tell the difference or shock horror you actually prefer the own brand stuff.
Once a week we try to make a meal that we can bulk out and stretch for two days. Homemade pasta sauces are great for this. Just use a bigger pan, twice the veg and a bit more meat. Just before you add the pasta, divide the sauce in half. Once it’s cool, freeze for another meal. It saves money and it’s also fab knowing you’ve got a healthy meal ready to go.
I did feel a bit silly walking around Aldi with a calculator but I wanted to see the costs adding up. I have to admit, this really made me think a bit more about what got put in the trolley but overall I was pleasantly surprised how little we had to sacrifice to keep within budget.
Here are our weeks’ meals and our grocery bill. The items in bold are what we already had and didn’t need to buy.
Monday: Satay Chicken: Satay sauce, chicken, rice, broccoli, baby corn, onion, frozen peas, naan bread
Tuesday: Pasta: Passata, chopped tomatoes, garlic, peppers, onion, pasta, cheese,
Wednesday: Fish: Sea bass fillets, potatoes, frozen veg. (Stu doesn’t like fish so bought himself something different)
Thursday: Cottage pie – We had this frozen from a previous week of batch cooking. We also had frozen peas
Friday: Wraps – tortilla wraps, salad bag, cucumber, pepper, tomato, avocado, garlic chicken, chips
Saturday: Cauliflower cheese – Cauliflower, cheese, flour, butter, milk, bacon, garlic bread, macaroni,
Sunday: Hot dogs: Hot dogs, buns, gherkins, potatoes, corn on the cob
We even came away with a few quid change from £50. Hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas of how to save a little cash on your weekly shop.
Do you think you are up for the challenge? I want to see your receipts.